© 2011

The Future of Motherhood in Western Societies

Late Fertility and its Consequences

  • Gijs Beets
  • Joop Schippers
  • Egbert R. te Velde
  • Contains an international team of experts trying to solve the old dilemma of how to make work and family life compatible

  • Offers a new interdisciplinary look at shaping work and family life more smoothly

  • Discusses how to balance careers and family in aging societies

  • Addresses what is the best age to have the first child


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Gijs Beets, Joop Schippers, Egbert R. te Velde
    Pages 1-4
  3. Jan A.R.A.M. van Hooff
    Pages 17-31
  4. Dirk J. van de Kaa
    Pages 49-60
  5. Joop Schippers
    Pages 91-105
  6. Anneke van Doorne-Huiskes, Ingrid Doorten
    Pages 107-124
  7. Gøsta Esping-Andersen
    Pages 125-148
  8. Karen Henwood, Fiona Shirani, Joanne Kellett nee Procter
    Pages 159-175
  9. Gijs Beets, Joop Schippers, Egbert R. te Velde
    Pages 197-209
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 211-222

About this book


iMost couples wish to have children, but when is the best time to have the first child and when is postponement justified? The answers vary from couple to couple and involve many factors including conflicting goals of the parents, housing, career paths, income, parental leave policies and child care arrangements. Nonetheless, the biological clock never stops ticking, and assisted reproductive technology cannot guarantee a successful outcome.


This book offers a holistic overview of the process of postponement and its background in modern Western societies both at the personal and societal levels. It includes contributions from reproductive, evolutionary biological and neurological sciences as well as from the fields of demography, economics, sociology and psychology. It argues that governments could support couples by a cafeteria-like set of arrangements from which one can compose a package according to personal preferences that can facilitate to a break in the rising age of first motherhood.


Age at first birth Compatibility of work and family life Delayed fatherhood Emancipation Female behaviour IVF Late fertility Late parenthood Male behaviour Maternal and child health Medical complications Modern contraception Motherhood Post-career mom Postponement Reproductive technology Sexual differentiation Welfare states Western societies

Editors and affiliations

  • Gijs Beets
    • 1
  • Joop Schippers
    • 2
  • Egbert R. te Velde
    • 3
  1. 1.Demographic Institute (NIDI)Netherlands Interdisciplinarys-GravenhageNetherlands
  2. 2.Utrecht School of EconomicsUniversity of UtrechtUtrechtNetherlands
  3. 3.UtrechtNetherlands

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Future of Motherhood in Western Societies
  • Book Subtitle Late Fertility and its Consequences
  • Editors Gijs Beets
    Joop Schippers
    Egbert R. te Velde
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-481-8968-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-007-9024-7
  • eBook ISBN 978-90-481-8969-4
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XII, 222
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Demography
    Sociology, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking